Muggles, Hogwarts and Quidditch -The Potted Potter Toronto Experience!

By N. Balani

The Potted Potter experience began way back in 2005 in England when Daniel Clarkson and Jefferson Turner were asked to do a 5-minute street show style presentation on the first 5 Harry Potter books for fans waiting for the release of the sixth book at midnight.

They never imagined that more than a decade later they would still be performing an extended version of that magical show all over the world! This outstanding show has toured from England to Australia to Hong Kong to Dubai and now is in its fourth tour of Toronto and will go on to other cities in the USA.

This two-man parody on the world of Harry Potter will keep you rolling in laughter whether you are 6 or 66 or even the age of Lord Voldermort! The show involves a Harry Potter expert (James Percy) and a person who is definitely not a Potter expert (Brendan Murphy) trying to present a 70 minute summary of the entire 7 tomes of the Potter saga. To enjoy the slap-stick humour of this show you do not even have to know the difference between a HufflePuff and a horcrux or the names of all the creatures from the Book of Magical Creatures. The plot is simple and so is the stage set (low key wigs and hats), but the comedy is rich and a rare chance to see improvisation theatre at its very best. Continue reading “Muggles, Hogwarts and Quidditch -The Potted Potter Toronto Experience!”

CARABRAM 2018: Cultures, costumes, cuisines!

Carabram, Brampton’s Multicultural Festival has expanded. This year they included a central site at South Fletcher’s Sportsplex, to showcase additional cultures, music and food as well as an International Bazaar. In addition, The World of Food Pavilion was part of the central site as well an International Market Bazaar with artisans and commercial vendors from Arabia, Latin America, Pakistan, Hawaii, Ukraine and Nepal.

A small stage was set up to present music, dance and songs, as well as demonstrations including Ted Talk style presentation. The Main stage, beside World of Food, continued to showcase top entertainment from around the world.

Carabram, Canada’s oldest cultural festival was on July 13, 14, and 15 at eight venues across the city. In addition to the new South Fletcher’s site, there were pavilions located throughout the city. Canada returned to the UNIFOR Local 1285 Hall,

Caribbean and China were at Chris Gibson Recreation Centre. The rhythm of the islands, the pulsating beats of the drums and the steel band made the audiences sway to the reggae music and whine to the calypso singers. At the China Pavilion, entertainment   included Lion Dance , Kung Fu (Wushu), Qipao fashion show, GuZheng (Chinese Zither), Tai Chi and Taekwondo. Continue reading “CARABRAM 2018: Cultures, costumes, cuisines!”

Yoga is Beautiful because it is ancient yet modern: Shri Narendra Modi

Instead of Increasing Suffering, Yoga Heals, Yoga is Beautiful because it is ancient yet modern, It is Constant yet Evolving: Prime Minister of India
4th International Day of Yoga celebrated

Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi has stated that the way to lead a calm, creative & content life is Yoga. “It can show the way in defeating tensions and mindless anxiety. Instead of dividing, Yoga unites.” He was addressing the main event of the 4th International day of Yoga, which was celebrated at the Forest Research Institute(FRI) in Dehradun here today. Shri Krishna Kant Paul, Governor, Uttarakhand; Shri Trivendra Singh Rawat, Chief Minister, Uttarakhand, Shri Shripad Yesso Naik, Minister of State (I/C), Ministry of AYUSH and Shri Harak Singh Rawat, Uttarakhand State Minister (AYUSH) also attended the event.

During his address the Prime Minister further said that, “Instead of increasing suffering, Yoga heals. Yoga is beautiful because it is ancient yet modern, it is constant yet evolving. It has the best of our past and presents and a ray of hope for our future. In Yoga, we have the perfect solution to the problems we face, either as individuals or in our society. Continue reading “Yoga is Beautiful because it is ancient yet modern: Shri Narendra Modi”

Escape the city. See great art.

The Return of the McMichael Art Bus
The McMichael Canadian Art Collection is excited to announce that the McMichael
Art Bus is back this year – just in time for summer. Perfect for the urban-dwelling art lover in need of an escape, the Art Bus departs from downtown Toronto to the McMichael and back for only $15 plus general admission.
 
Every Sunday from June 10 to October 28, round-trip transportation to the McMichael leaves from the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival headquarters’ parking lot located next to 80 Spadina Avenue (King and Spadina) at 10:30 am, and heads back downtown at 3:30 pm.
 
Art-goers can also purchase tickets for one of the McMichael’s Signature Performance Series: Acoustic Conversations which take place on select Sundays this summer, intertwining conversations and a live performance with influential Canadian hip hop talent such as Michie Mee, Maestro Fresh-Wes, and more.

The McMichael Art Bus provides a convenient and hassle-free transportation option for Torontonians to access and visit the gallery. The McMichael boasts 100 acres of grounds to explore, a Sculpture Garden, and hiking trails, which provide a relaxing and uplifting summer escape. Continue reading “Escape the city. See great art.”

Yoga, the discovery of your Self

By Rangarajan

The Sanskrit word ‘Yoga’ simply means ‘reunion’. Reunion implies an existing state of separation. You are separated from your real Self and blissfully unaware of it too! Ignorant of your Self, you identify with your body, mind and intellect and endlessly chase the world for happiness. Yoga is the search and pursuit of your real Self, culminating in Self-discovery, the native home of happiness.

Yoga is pursued fourfold. Hatha yoga, predominantly addressed to the body and vital pranas, ward off lethargy, indulgence and energy dissipation. It renders the body conducive to spiritual quest.

Karma yoga is dedicating actions to a higher ideal vis-a-vis working for a mundane, mechanical survival. Bhakti yoga relieves your mind from the self-inflicted bondage of attachment to stable identification and devotion. Jnana yoga shifts the direction of intellect from unending terrestrial concerns to transcendental enquiry upon the Self.

Since every human is composed of body, mind and intellect, the pursuit of the fourfold yoga, in proportion to individual constitution is indispensable for evolution. Due to its relative ease of demonstration, practise and immediate appeal to the body, postures and breathing in hata yoga, has hit worldwide eminence in no time. Continue reading “Yoga, the discovery of your Self”

desiFEST 2018 Showcases the best in Urban Desi Music

desiFEST 2018 Bigger and Better Than Ever​​

The 12th annual desiFEST wowed crowds once again with 12 hours of entertainment, featuring more than 25 artists in the heart of Toronto at Yonge and Dundas Square.

This year’s festival featured Canadian and International artists including: Calgary born Punjabi singer, The Prophecy; one of India’s most popular rappers and Hip Hop stars, Divine; a special tribute to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan by The Mad Band; Amar Sandhu and Pranna from Dallas, USA and fan favourites hailing from British Columbia, Anjali and
GPS. Thousands of attendees were also treated to a surprise performance by UK legend, Manj Musik.

“We had a dream line-up this year for our 12th annual festival,” says festival founder and CEO Satish Bala. “Giving artists a platform to share their music, their energy and message is what desiFEST is all about. Big Thanks to all the artists, fans and all sponsors including TD Telus and all our media friends, that made this year’s event so amazing.”

This year’s festival featured 3 days of artist meet and greet opportunities, industry events, receptions and more, across the GTA. Continue reading “desiFEST 2018 Showcases the best in Urban Desi Music”

The City of Markham launches Indigenous History Month celebrations

Today, the City of Markham launched celebrations for Indigenous History Month with a special ceremony that featured a friendship dance and ceremony of laying down the sacred medicine of tobacco. Indigenous Art Educator, J’net Ayayqwayaksheelth, was joined by Sue Croweagle to lead the celebration at the Markham Civic Centre.

“Celebrating the achievements of Canada’s Indigenous Peoples is an opportunity to listen to their stories, learn from their experiences and recognize the outstanding contributions of Indigenous communities,” says Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti. “At the City of Markham, we believe in building and nurturing strong bonds with our Indigenous communities, and I am proud that together, we have been able to create those connections through mutual respect, trust and cooperation.”

National Indigenous History Month is recognized during the month of June, providing the unique opportunity for municipalities across Canada to join together and take action towards reconciliation. Markham supports Indigenous History Month through the City’s award-winning  Diversity Action Plan – Everyone Welcome.

“In recognizing the history of Indigenous Peoples, Markham is demonstrating our gratitude to be able to call Turtle Island home,” says Cheryl McConney-Wilson, Senior Diversity, Accessibility, Wellness and Recognition Specialist at the City of Markham. Continue reading “The City of Markham launches Indigenous History Month celebrations”

Toronto is ready for beach season!

Nine Toronto beaches will open on Saturday

Nine of Toronto’s swimming beaches will officially open to the public on Saturday, June 2. Lifeguards will be on duty at these beaches, which will remain open until Labour Day. Open swimming beaches are supervised from 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

“City of Toronto beaches are great places to relax, escape the heat and get active,” said Mayor John Tory. “I encourage residents to take advantage of the opportunity to go outdoors and cool off this weekend.”

“Swimming and watersports are a great way to get active and be healthy,” said Councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon (Ward 32 Beaches-East York), Chair of the Parks and Environment Committee. “Toronto beaches are a favourite destination for families in the summertime and I encourage everyone to come out and cool down!”

Toronto boasts some of the best swimming beaches around. Eight of Toronto’s 11 beaches have been awarded Blue Flag certification, meeting high standards for water quality, environmental management and education, safety and services. These beaches are perfect for taking a swim during the hot summer months. Continue reading “Toronto is ready for beach season!”

Mahindra Group and BMC join hands to fight plastic pollution

Drive to raise awareness about single-use plastic pollution and responsible disposal

The Mahindra Group, in collaboration with Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has, as part of its sustainability efforts, undertaken a drive to build awareness about the impact of plastic and to collect plastic waste.  More than 15,000 tonnes of plastic waste is generated in India every day, of which 6,000 tonnes remain uncollected and littered. Mumbai generates 7,500 metric tons of waste every day, of which nearly 9% is plastic waste according to a 2014 study. Given the impact of plastic pollution on marine life, the World Environment Day this year is themed around “Beat Plastic Pollution” and India is the host country.

Environment forms a critical element of Mahindra Group’s focus from a business and social good perspective. Run across all locations in Maharashtra, this drive was initiated on May 22, and it is set to culminate on World Environment Day (June 5). Over 150 kgs of plastic have been collected by Mahindra Group, which will be shared with BMC (single use). BMC will, as part of the association, collect the plastic and responsibly reprocess it into useful products. Mahindra has also partnered with NGO Goonj towards recycling other forms of plastic. Mahindra Group aims to encourage its employees to give up single use plastic and will reach out to, Mahindra employees across the State. Continue reading “Mahindra Group and BMC join hands to fight plastic pollution”

‘Green Good Deeds’ Movement Launched by Dr Harsh Vardhan Gets Global Recognition

BRICS Ministerial on Environment Includes Green Good Deeds in its Official Agenda

Green Good Deeds, the societal movement launched by the Union Minister for Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Dr Harsh Vardhan, to protect environment and promote good living in the country, has found acceptance by the global community. The ongoing BRICS Ministerial on Environment at Durban, South Africa, has agreed to include “Green Good Deeds” in its official agenda in the next Ministerial in Brazil and another meeting in Russia”, Dr Harsh Vardhansaid.Reacting to the adoption of Green Good Deeds by BRICS Ministerial on Environment, Dr Harsh Vardhan said, international conferences on Environment had been deliberating and adopting declarations. However, he wondered how these declarations can be put to practice at the ground level, involving every section of the society. “Green Good Deeds” is an idea to take it to the people and get them involved,” the Minister added.

Earlier, in his opening remarks at the Ministerial, Dr Harsh Vardhan had urged the grouping to jointly work for developing a movement around Green Good Deeds.“In India, we are trying to develop a societal movement of Green Good Deeds, which are small positive actions to be performed by individuals or organisations to strengthen the cause of environmental protection,” Dr HarshVardhan had told  the gathering yesterday.

There was wide acceptance to the suggestion and acting Deputy Executive Director,UN Environment (UNEP) representative at the conclave, Mr. Jorge Laguna-Celis, lauded the initiative. Continue reading “‘Green Good Deeds’ Movement Launched by Dr Harsh Vardhan Gets Global Recognition”